The first Skyteam Exclusive Lounge in Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) has officially opened for business.
The launch of the facility is good news for Skyteam passengers, given the lack of quality lounges for the alliance’s members in the past. While both China Airlines and Korean Air did operate dedicated lounges at HKIA, the two facilities were ageing and could not compete with other lounges at the airport.
While the Skyteam Exclusive Lounge is open to passengers travelling with all members of the airline alliance, the development of the lounge is a result of the partnership between China Airlines and China Eastern Airlines – both of which offer the most number of Skyteam flights to Hong Kong.
Located near gate 5, the new lounge is positioned below the Departures level and is accessible via escalators. Upon reaching the entrance of the lounge, passengers will be greeted by an attendant at the front desk. A magazine rack is located opposite the welcome desk, featuring a broad range of industry titles such as Bloomberg, Times and Forbes.
Work on the Skyteam Exclusive Lounge was done by Mitchel Squires – the Hong Kong-based design studio that was also responsible for the interior look of the Skyteam lounge at Sydney Airport. Described by Weni Lee, China Airlines’ general manager of media affairs, as being “European in design”, the interior features an abundance of wood complemented by leather seating with tonal colours.
Social seating area
At 1,038sqm in size, the lounge features a total of 230 seats that come in different shapes and sizes. Passengers travelling in groups will appreciate the long curved couches located near the entrance, while travellers that favour privacy are catered to by the six “productivity booths”, situated at the main sitting area. With privacy panels on both sides of the seat, it delivers maximum privacy to guests.
Individual seating options
There is also a VIP room available and this modestly sized area is enclosed from the rest of the lounge. It consists of seven comfortable multi-coloured sofa seats and reading lights.
Other lounge facilities include four shower suites, a workstation area with three dedicated iMac terminals, and even a private yoga room – a first for a lounge in Hong Kong. The yoga room comes with two yoga mats and a large-screen television showcasing workout videos.
Complimentary wifi is available throughout the lounge, and I appreciated the fact that there are signs on the tables displaying the relevant wifi access password. There are also plenty of charging ports available located at the bottom of tables.
Wifi and charging points
FOOD AND BEVERAGE
Lounge management and catering is provided by the Plaza Premium Group, well-known for their own pay-in lounge facilities in HKIA as well as providing management services to high profile clients such as Singapore Airlnes and Cathay Pacific in Hong Kong.
The buffet spread at Skyteam Exclusive Lounge features a mix of cold cuts, salads and hot Asian dishes. However, the highlight here has to be “On-demand Noodle Bar”, which provides three types of noodles that are cooked on order. Along with the Plaza Premium signature “Hong Kong style rice noodles with fish balls”, guests can also choose to sample either the “vegetarian noodle in soup” or “Taiwanese style beef noodle” – the latter is served at China Airlines’ own lounge facilities in Taipei.
The Skyteam Exclusive Lounge at HKIA is opened to first and business class passengers travelling with any Skyteam member carrier, as well as Skyteam Elite Plus members. Opening hours are from 0530 through to 0130, meaning that the facility will be opened three hours before the first scheduled flight operated by any Skyteam member. It will also close after the final flight of member airlines.